In Convenience

The vulgar chime of the shop door announced her arrival. Darren didn’t know her name. He knew that she worked in a nearby office. He knew also that she always bought a chicken and sweetcorn sandwich and a Diet Coke for lunch. And he knew she had a nice smile. He was certain about that.

She was a regular customer of the ‘24-7’.  It was the only retail outlet within walking distance so this was perhaps unsurprising. Many of her co-workers also bought their sandwiches from the shop. The difference, in Darren’s eyes, was that she was less condescending.

Perhaps it was because they wore suits and he a bright red polo shirt, or perhaps it was the wages that the polo shirt represented, but some of her colleagues definitely looked down on Darren. He didn’t mind, or particularly care. Working at the ‘24-7’ had given him the flexibility to pursue other ambitions. The envelope he’d received that morning, which currently nestled in his left pocket, reassured him it had all been worth it.

She glided through the aisles, past the biscuits, and the magazines, towards the fridge at the back of the shop. Darren followed her with his eyes but as she glanced back in his direction, he quickly averted his gaze.

He glanced towards the sorry-looking flower display. In all the time he’d worked there, Darren couldn’t remember ever selling any flowers. He’d worked the morning shift, the afternoon shift and the night shift and never once had anyone purchased an overpriced bouquet. Every week the flower delivery guy would come and replenish the stock, taking away the older, sadder bunches, leaving behind, what was still a fairly second-rate assortment of carnations, roses and freesias. It would take a pretty desperate individual to spend their hard-earned money on such pathetic specimens.

But it was Darren’s last day at the ’24-7’ and it occurred to him he might never see her again. If ever Darren had experienced a ‘Carpe Diem’ moment then this was surely it.

Desperate times called for desperate measures and those flowers were certainly a desperate measure.

Vaulting over the counter, he scooped up a battered bunch of begonias that had seen better days and marched over to her.

She eyed him with a curious smile as he presented the feeble flowers.

“Hi I’m Darren”, he grinned pointing at his name badge, “what’s your name?”

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Written in response to the Literary Lion Prompt – Flower

  20 comments for “In Convenience

  1. August 22, 2015 at 10:39 am

    So what information did the envelope in his pocket contain? 🙂 good writing, you make your reader want more, both from what you’ve given and what you haven’t 🙂 (not that I’m any sort of expert in critiquing writing, that’s just my gut.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • August 22, 2015 at 10:41 am

      The envelope can contain whatever you want it to contain. I had an idea when I wrote it, but I’d prefer to leave it to your imagination 🙂 Thanks for the complimentary comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • August 22, 2015 at 10:47 am

        That’s kind of what I figured. I had a couple of ideas…but of course the specifics aren’t important to your storyline, and I’ve been told in short story telling you have to keep a fine balance in how much you tell and how much you don’t — again, good job with that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • August 22, 2015 at 10:50 am

        Thanks 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. August 22, 2015 at 11:19 am

    ….my name is linda and i’d prefer that fat envelope in your pocket to the flower you are giving me….,

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 22, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      Certainly one possible outcome. Although she definitely isn’t called Linda…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dust and Dog Hair
    August 22, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Hi, James!

    Mission accomplished! (My son would call that your see-what-I-did-there moment.). And I do! I immediately closed the story in my head with details you provided along the way. Very engaging! Nice job!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Vibrant
    August 22, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Hmmm, keeping us guessing. Nice background sketch!

    Have a nice weekend James 🙂

    Anand

    Liked by 1 person

  5. August 22, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Maybe her name is Daisy.
    Great title for this story.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. August 22, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Carpe Diem seems to be the theme of my day on WordPress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 23, 2015 at 8:58 am

      I noticed that 🙂

      Like

  7. August 23, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Oh no! But I have to know! The letter in his pocket was definitely his acceptance letter into University… or a letter from a publisher saying his book will be published…. or his pilot’s license. Darn it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. August 24, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Loved it! I couldn’t stop reading…loved being inside his brain! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 24, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      Thanks 🙂

      Like

  9. August 26, 2015 at 12:30 am

    I love the use of that phrase at the end, it’s such a colloquial sentence but it means so much in this case… nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 26, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Thanks – it felt like an odd phrase to choose when I was writing it, but it just seemed to fit…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. August 26, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Hey you’re a bit of a romantic at heart. I agree about the envelope, never eevel everything. Lovely story well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 26, 2015 at 9:03 pm

      I am indeed a romantic at heart 🙂

      Like

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